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The Science Division of NASA's Office of International and Interagency Relations coordinates international activities in support of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, and develops and implements policies for carrying out those activities. The Science Division works primarily on cooperation related to Earth science, solar system exploration, heliophysics (the study of the Sun and its interactions with the other planets in the solar system, including its effect on human activities), and astrophysics. In addition, it is the lead division for various regions including Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The division’s work includes developing and negotiating international agreements with many different countries and intergovernmental organizations. This entails working with NASA’s traditional partners in Europe, Asia, and Canada, as well as with non-traditional partners. The latter include countries with rapidly developing space capabilities, such as the Republic of Korea, India, Brazil, and Argentina, as well as with nations with less spacefaring experience that are beginning to engage in space activities both for scientific purposes and societal benefits.

NASA’s international scientific cooperation encompasses a broad range of activities, including strategic partnerships on major space and Earth science missions; flights of foreign instruments on NASA spacecraft and NASA instruments on foreign spacecraft, exchanges of data from research conducted in space and on the ground; and coordination and interoperability of ground system assets.

In addition to bilateral cooperation with nations around the world, the Science Division assists the Science Mission Directorate in multilateral forums such as the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), which seeks to integrate international Earth observation activities. The Science Division also supports the Science Mission Directorate through the development and coordination of policies with other U.S. Government agencies.

Future Direction

The Science Division is taking the lead in developing NASA’s strategy for global engagement with non-traditional partners around the world. In the foreseeable future, a large number of new international activities are anticipated with increased worldwide interest and capabilities in Earth science, solar system exploration, and exploration of the universe beyond. The Science Division will provide support and guidance to the NASA Science Mission Directorate to meet its needs in the exciting times ahead.

For further information, please contact Gib Kirkham, Director of the Science Division.


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NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Official: Monica Bowie
Curator: Christopher Brunner
Last Updated: August 30, 2016
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